Person of the Year
A sixth-generation descendant of Helfrich Winery in Alsace, Frederic (along with his sister, Anne-Laure) now runs this historic business. In addition to producing an award-winning Grand Cru, Helfrich created Noble, a line of four wines (Riesling, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Blanc and Cremant d’Alsace) that retails at approximately $15 per bottle. Helfrich has been at the forefront of promoting Alsace as a competitive producer of available and accessible wines.
European Winery of the Year
Founded in 1835 as a Sherry bodega, this influential champion of quality Spanish wines is still family owned. In addition to its lauded signature Tio Pepe Fino Sherry, the company has incorporated wineries from all over Spain and offers dry and sweet amontillados, olorosos and rare old soleras that are a minimum of 30 years old and only available in small quantities.
Based in Mendocino, California, Bonterra is the nation’s leading producer of organically farmed wines and at the forefront of organic farming in the U.S. for 20 years. Recently announced as the official wine of the Farm Aid benefit concert and charity, Bonterra uses just one-third the sulfur of conventional wines. It also employs biodynamic practices like planting cover crops and using sheep to “mow” the grass in the vineyards.
This Oregon winery is the largest Pinot Gris producer in the country, and it also makes a wide range of excellent Pinot Noir and the value brand, Acrobat. King Estate was instrumental this year in expanding the Willamette Valley AVA, and recently announced its intention to be certified biodynamic.
New World Winery of the Year
Founded in 1997 and owned by the d’Aulan family, the former owners of the Piper-Heidsieck Champagne house, this Argentinean winery focuses on high-altitude, terroir-driven Malbec and Torrontes. Alta Vista was also the first winery to produce single-vineyard Malbecs in the country. Widely respected as one of the iconic quality wines of Argentina, it farms vineyards in Lujan de Cuyo and Valle de Uco, considered the best winegrowing areas within Mendoza and Cafayate.